Monthly Archives: June 2009

Some pictures from this wonderful day:

One of my friends came in the other night, her baby on one arm, and in the other, this beautiful gift–


I cast about to see where I could hang it and this seemed like a good place.
Certain Man hung a hook right away, and it is so pretty.

Today our married children and their spouses were here for lunch.
Charis gets more and more personality every day.
She has learned to blow spit bubbles.
Her mama put her on the hammock and she enjoyed it.


Of course, there is no place quite like Mama’s hip to see the world!

Christina and Charis were watching the boys play a new game.
Ryan Kauffman made this game and it is quite a hit.
It has the glamorous name of
EDIT:  “Cornhole”
and the object is to toss corn bags through the hole
from a great distance away.

Here are a few pictures I took this afternoon while the boys were playing:
Lem takes careful aim

David looks to see if his latest effort meets with success!

Jesse, Raph, Lem, Gabe, David, and Ryan made up the three teams.
And I, impartial as I am, cannot remember who won —
But it was still fun to watch!

After everyone had gone home, I decided to take a trip out to see Certain Man’s garden.
It is really coming along nicely.

Some of you have wondered about the tomato racks that he was working on.
This picture shows them pretty well, as do some of the others.
This picture also shows his wonderful provision for his pole limas.
People can’t believe it, but we have learned that we need to space them out really far, and give them room to grow. (Thanks, Mark,jr.!!!) and then getting them to grow high seems to help, too.
This pole, wire and string creation is one of the most attractive, sturdy, and practical systems I have ever seen.

Another view.  Those are red potatoes in the foreground.

Here he has started the second row of poles for another row of limas.
This is the first year he has planted two rows.  I am so grateful for a second row.
I probably still won’t have as many as we would like, but it will be some better!


We already have:
 fresh red potatoes
yellow squash
green peppers
His tomatoes and butternut squash are healthy and strong
and his starts of rhubarb and asparagus are coming right along.
He’s a little upset because his ground cherry plants haven’t come up in their old location.
He would really like to get them transplanted.  He might just have to start them again.

It has been a great Sunday here at Shady Acres.
Tonight I remembered that I have a Case Manager coming in the morning.
I haven’t done a speck of my paper work for her yet.
Guess who’s gonna’ need to get up really, really early???


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Charis and her Daddy at the beach

Okay, now I’m bragging!

This is Charis and Her Daddy on her first trip to the Beach!

(You can tell she doesn’t like it at all, can’t you?)




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Some of you are acquainted with Albert and Katie Mast through Albert’s xanga page at

A couple of weeks ago, Albert sent us a message that said he and Katie were coming east and would like to stop in and visit us.  Certain man and I were so tickled!  As the weeks have passed, and the details have been worked out, we have been eagerly anticipating their visit. We’ve done some talking about having a potluck picnic on the night of June 29th (Monday evening) and inviting those of you who are interested in coming for the evening.  If you would like to be included, would you please call me at 302-422-5952, and tell me who is coming and what you would like to bring to the picnic.  We will fill you in on the details.  Thanks!!!



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This weekend was Father’s day.
I got this picture of Certain Man and his grandbaby on Sunday afternoon:

Charis likes her Daddy and her Grandpas just fine,
Thank you very much.
(And she has all three of them pretty much wrapped around her finger, too!)



It was also the first anniversary of Youngest Son and His Gal Jess.  I got this out on our deck just before they left on Sunday afternoon.
(Just in case you didn’t know, they now live in Philadelphia.)


Happy Anniversary, you two!!! 
We’re so glad you found each other.

Of course, our girlies were (are, still) in Europe.
Oldest Son and His Gal Gina were in Ohio.
It is never “right” when we are missing part of the puzzle,
But it was still a great time together.



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Hearing Aids and Such . . .

This morning it was the day for Our Girl Audrey to have her hearing aid fixed down at Millsboro.  We fight with hearing aids all the time — they don’t work.  They do, but they whistle.  By the way.  Can someone tell me how anyone can bear to walk around wearing a hearing aid that is whistling and whistling and whistling?

 I’ve been known to hear it going on and on from another part of the house and hope and hope she will fix it and finally, when I can bear it no longer, go to her and say, “Audrey, what’s wrong with your hearing aid?” 

“I doan know.  Is’s whis’lin,” she’ll say and begin to fumble around with it. 

“Can you fix it?” I’ll ask hopefully. 

“I doan know.  Mebbe.”  And she will turn it back a little and it will quiet down and that will be it for a few days. 

Somehow she split the ear mold a some weeks ago and the tube wouldn’t stay in it.  Because the tube wouldn’t stay in it, she often came to me for help, and we could pretty much keep it in and running.  One morning when she hadn’t asked me for help get it in, she came to me and said, “I doan know wha’s wrong wif my hearin aid.  It jus ain’ workin’.”  I looked at it, and it didn’t look right the way it was in her ear, so I took it out for her.  She had run the tubing into the little hole that opens into the ear canal, and then around, pinched it between the ear mold and her ear canal, and then up to the mechanical part.  Of course she couldn’t hear a thing that way.  It would have been more like using an ear plug than anything else.  We got it arranged right and it worked again for awhile.

I never really know how to feel about Audrey’s hearing aids.  They are a wonderful connection to real life for her, and make it possible for her to be a part of conversations and comforting exchanges and family living.  But sometimes Audrey doesn’t see them that way.  And when she is in a situation she would just as soon not be in, she will leave them out.  Or, if she thinks I will call her on not wearing them, she will wear them, but turn them flat off.  Like when she goes to church.  Don’t ask me why, but she will almost never have them turned on at church.  It isolates her and makes her feel out of it. 

She says, “People jus’ talkin’  ’bout me anyways.  That preacher jus’ sayin’ stuff all the time,” and nothing will change her mind.  I have talked until I’ve run out of ideas but she is still so sure that everything said pertains to her and she isn’t about to hear it.

She is not nearly as paranoid as she was when she first came to us.  I remember riding down the road and whenever we would see something that she didn’t think looked right (those round basketball type things on the electric wires, or the little round things by the traffic signals, or even people just going by in their cars) she would say, “I know it, Mar’ann!  They’re jus’ takin’ my pitcher.  Everywhere I go.  People is watchin’ me an’ takin’ my pitcher.” 

One day I said, “Audrey, if they are taking your picture, they are taking mine, too.  ‘Cause I’m with you.  You know what?  You and I must be terribly important people for them to be taking our pictures all the time.  I wonder what they are going to do with all those pictures.”

She pondered that awhile and it suddenly struck her funny bone.  She giggled and said, “I doan know!  All I know is they’re takin’ my pitcher.”  But I could see she was thinking about it. 

So I used that tactic each time she brought it up.  “Yep,” I’d say when she complained, “It’s how we are, Audrey.  You and me!  So important that they’ve set up cameras everywhere just to see what we’re doing!”  She would always giggle and gradually that little quirk has faded into almost non-existance.

Today we went on down to Millsboro, and the Audiologist was waiting for us.  He put her new ear mold in and checked her hearing aid.  “It’s been giving her some problems,” I said.  “She complains that it cuts out on her and she can’t hear anything, and then it will come back on and do okay for a while.” 

He checked it all over thoroughly, and listened to it with his stethoscope.  “It’s working fine,” he said.  “I don’t see anything wrong with at all.”  He put it in, and adjusted it and asked her how it was.

“Is’s fine.” she said happily.  “Works good.”  We sat and talked just a bit more about billing and such and all of the sudden she said, “It isn’ right.  Sumpin doan soun’ right.”  She fingered the control, and he asked her a few questions.  “It jus ain’ righ’ somehow,” she insisted.  “I doan know how, but it jus’ doan soun’ righ'”

He patiently took it back out, rechecked it, found nothing wrong, put it back in her ear and asked her if it was better now.  I could tell by the look on her face that she still wasn’t satisfied, but she said, “Is’s alrigh’.  I can hear.” and we finished paperwork and got on the road to Milford.  I took her to center, and then I came on home.

I’ve been thinking about selective hearing alot today, and thinking about how sometimes the very thing that is supposed to help me hear my brothers and sisters better becomes an ear plug — because I’m not using the tool correctly.  I’ve pondered, too, the whole thing of just “turning it off” when I am in a situation where I’m uncomfortable.  How often to I shut out the very words and conversations that would draw me in, fill up the empty places in my heart, make me feel like I belong?  Simply because I am afraid? Or paranoid?  Or because I want to hide? 

And what makes me sometimes feel like someone is taking a picture of everything in my life to store for future use against me somehow, somewhere, some day, some way?  I believe the sense that someone is watching is a very honest thing — because God is watching.  As His child, that should give me courage and comfort and a sense of security.  Not paranoia.  And whatever self inflated images I may have of my own importance, my fellow men probably think of me a whole lot less often than I would imagine.    This is good!

So I need to get those spiritual hearing aids in order and USE them.  I need to polish my spiritual eye glasses and use my “prescription” Son glasses — to see life through His filter!  I’m quite sure the problem isn’t with the equipment.  I guess that means it resides with the user.




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Letter from Deborah

Dear Mom,

Just a note to say that we are once again safe in a hostel. We stayed at the Milan train station last night, and it was fine, although a lot uncomfortable.
I tried to twitter where we were the night before- did it come through?
We had an amazing night in Andorra at a campground, staying in a little room called “Refugi”. It was a refuge for us. Our bus left for France the next morning at 0500, and our bus driver got us to Toulouse, France, faster than I would have thought possible. From there we caught the train to Marsailles and we went to the Chateau D’if! We had a little over an hour between trains in Marsailles, and ran down to the waterfront, caught a ferry to the island, jumped out, took a picture, jumped back on, ran back to the train station and made our train with 5 minutes to spare! It was great!
We saw the Duomo of Italy today, walked up 463 stairs to the top, and looked out all over the city. Yea! Then we walked over to the Academy Gallery (English name), and saw David. Both Rachel and Holly agreed with me that he was worth every penny to see. We’ll see if they’ll think the same thing about the other two museums tomorrow.
I wrote on my facebook that you would be posting updates for me, so if you would, I would be grateful. We only get 45 minutes online, and I need to hurry. We do want to get some pictures, and the boys said they would post some, but they wanted a comment, because NO ONE comments on their blog. 🙂
And I also wanted to give Dad a message. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DADDY! Rach and I both love you and miss you. We saw a clock today that is a 24 hour clock that ran backwards, I took a picture, and we thought about you. We also saw a garden that reminded us of you in Spain. I just wanted to let you know that we will be thinking of you tomorrow, and each day. Love you very much Daddy!
Love you very much, and I miss you. I hope you have a wonderful day, tell Laws hi from us if you get this in time.
And I’ll write again when I get the chance.
Deborah (and Rachel for the part for Dad)

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The children of Bert and Sarah Slaubaugh are having a 30th wedding anniversary celebration for them today.

It was to have been held here at our pavilion, with the rain location being at Greenwood Mennonite Church’s basement.  However, the church basement was reserved for another event, so they needed to find another place.

It’s beginning to rain, and even though we would love to have it here, it isn’t feasible.  So this is the semi-official notification to any who might be interested:

The anniversary celebration for Bert and Sarah Slaubaugh which was to be held in the pavilion at Shady Acres is being moved to Tressler Mennonite Church’s Fellowship Hall.  Friends and family are welcome to drop in from 1-6 today.  We  hope to have Many of you turn out to encourage and affirm this couple who has contributed so much to our lives individually and the community at large.

Hope to see you there!!! 

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